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Ahmedabad: Steady drop in micro-containment zones despite sharp rise in Covid cases in April

During an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 24, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said the Gujarat government was “focussing” on micro-containment zones and that there were a total of 30,000 micro-containment zones in various cities of the state.

Written by Ritu Sharma | Ahmedabad |
April 27, 2021 9:35:51 pm
Gujarat, Covid-19A covid patient being brought in a private vehicle gets assisted by paramedic and relatives in a wheelchair while getting admitted at Civil hospital in Ahmedabad. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Contrary to the continuous exponential surge in fresh Covid-19 cases in Ahmedabad city in April, the number of micro-containment zones earmarked by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has seen a steady decline.

The number of areas dropped from the list of micro-containment zones, in fact, has been higher than the ones added across the city daily since April 17. Against the 17 areas earmarked as new micro-containment zones on April 17, the civic body removed 24 others from the list, AMC data states. Interestingly, the city had 442 such zones, the highest so far, against 3,241 fresh cases on the same day.

There has been a steady decline in the number of total micro-containment zones in the city. On April 24, AMC declared only nine new micro-containment zones and removed 28 areas from the list, taking the total number of such zones to 388 on a day when the city recorded 5,617 new Covid-19 cases.

During an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 24, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said the Gujarat government was “focussing” on micro-containment zones and that there were a total of 30,000 micro-containment zones in various cities of the state. This was after the PM’s April 20 address, where he had asked states to consider lockdown as the last option and focus on creating micro-containment zones.

On Monday, too, the civic body added 12 new micro-containment zones and removed 44 others taking the total to 356 such zones. The city added 5,619 new cases on that day.

When contacted, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Medical Officer (Health) Dr Bhavin Solanki told The Indian Express, “We will look into this and act accordingly.”

As per the AMC guidelines, a micro-containment zone is declared on the basis of Covid-19 cases in proportion to the population of that residential area. For instance, for a smaller residential society, three to five positive Covid-19 cases makes a case for a micro-containment zone while for a larger one, the number might increase. Only a smaller section of a big residential society – a single floor, block or section of a few houses from where Covid-19 cases are reported, can also be declared a micro-containment zone.

A temporary blockage is put up by the AMC to restrict the movement of residents outside residential societies declared as micro containment zones. Civic officials or police personnel are also deputed outside each micro-containment zone to ensure the guidelines are followed.

Shortage of staff, already overburdened with multiple Covid-related duties and increasing resistance from residents against such curbs, meanwhile, have been cited as some reasons why the AMC has gone slow on micro-containment zones, maintaining the total number around 350.

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